What’s this chord?

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vizviz Frets: 4725
edited December 2017 in Theory
I am in love with a chord. You hear it all the time in jazzy songs. It fits as a substitute for a number of chords, such as the IV or the iv minor or even the V. It’s built off the flat-VII chord, and it itself is a 7th with an added 10th and 13th. 

Example: I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, in C major, when it goes - “may your dreams be merry and bright”:

Dreams be: I chord (C to Cmaj7). 
Merry: V/IV chord (C7). 
Bright: starts with IV chord (F). 
then the A is flattened to Ab (iv minor chord, f minor). 
And may all: “all” is back on the C chord.

but instead of that f minor, you can play this lovely smoochy Bb chord which is Bb, then the Ab above that, then the D above that and the G above that. x1x133

It’s also the 4th chord in the intro to Sister Sledge - We Are Family. What is it? I love it. 
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Comments

  • MegiiMegii Frets: 859
    It's a Bb13 i.e. a Bb7 with an added 13th, which is the G on the top string. It does sound nice used there. I forget the theoretical reasons but you do sometimes see that resolution from a b7 type chord a tone below the root like that.

    Actually, just found the theory stuff if you're interested, see the 3rd paragraph here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backdoor_progression
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  • vizviz Frets: 4725
    edited February 20
    Brilliant, that’s exactly the one, thanks! I’ve always thought of it as a backdoor kind of thing. 

    I prefer the open voicing to the one they give in the picture, ie nothing between the Bb and the Ab, then the 10 and 13 on the top. Anyway it’s lush. Cheers
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 859
    @viz - it links into this whole thing re use of chords from "parallel" keys and what is called "modal interchange" - your post reminded me about it, and there was this interesting video - see re Sister Sledge and other examples. Cool stuff, so I appreciate the reminder, which made me search this out:



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  • vizviz Frets: 4725
    Exactly, that’s awesome, thank you so much! This is where theory can tie all the loose ends I have in my mind. 
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6033
    yeesh, we have some serious egg heads here. I was with you right up to It's a

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1742
    I always thought a backdoor progression was the suggested MO here, but I can't hear a 13th chord:



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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 859
    You're very welcome @viz -to be honest it wasn't all that long ago that I came across the modal interchange thing myself, and useful to be reminded about - one of those handy things to be aware of.
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  • vizviz Frets: 4725
    Yep, and I know about modal interchange but hadn’t thought about it in this context - I just had it as a flat VII chord basically with a 6th and 7th, so really nice to link the theory and the notes together - as always!
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 859
    edited December 2017
    @viz Just for what it's worth, re original chord sequence, I'm just noodling on the guitar, and I realise there's another way of thinking about the Bb7/Bb13 sub for the Fm - if you change the Fm to an Fm6 e.g.1x0111 or you could have Fm6/9 to get the G melody note i.e. 1x0113 - then notice how similar that chord is to a Bb9 or Bb13 - just change the root and you get Bb9 x10111 and Bb13 x10113 (or indeed your nice Bb13 x1x133 voicing).
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  • vizviz Frets: 4725
    Yes and that’s why I’ve always thought of it basically as a IV chord but with a 4th (which is that Bb), and inverted so that the 4th is in the bass. Because, despite having to change quite a lot of notes to get from the IV to the bVII13, it nevertheless performs the same function as raising the IV chord’s major 3rd up a semitone.

    So I’ve basically always thought of the bVII13 as being a version of the IV somehow. I guess that’s what makes it a good substitute. And for me what makes it so juicy is the juxtaposition of its major 6th and flat 7th. 

    You can of course also just play Bb major ;)


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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 859
    Good stuff, I like your thinking and tend to agree about the IV link now that you mention it, cheers for that @viz
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 722
    edited December 2017
    I've always thought of the 4th chord of We Are Family as just F/G, and play it as a straight barre at the 10th fret (excluding the 6th string).

    Although when I reminded myself, I realised I also hit the D on the 1st string so I suppose that makes if F6/G which could be viewed as G13 (including the 11th (or 4th), which is often excluded from a 13th chord).

    It's probably one of those songs I've never listened to closely enough so I might be playing it wrong. But what I play seems to fit to my ear.
    It's not a competition.
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  • vizviz Frets: 4725
    edited February 20
    I've always thought of the 4th chord of We Are Family as just F/G, and play it as a straight barre at the 10th fret (excluding the 6th string).

    Although when I reminded myself, I realised I also hit the D on the 1st string so I suppose that makes if F6/G which could be viewed as G13 (including the 11th (or 4th), which is often excluded from a 13th chord).

    It's probably one of those songs I've never listened to closely enough so I might be playing it wrong. But what I play seems to fit to my ear.

    Yep, you’re right, I couldn’t hear it properly on my phone 
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